One of the fun activities of the Christmas holiday season is building your own LEGO Christmas decorations. Of course, LEGO releases various Christmas-themed sets every year, like the LEGO Winter Village collection, and small decorative sets and holiday ornaments. And, you can also build your own decorations with the help of LEGO customizers like Chris McVeigh.
Chris has established himself as the go-to person for LEGO holiday ornaments and other fun builds via his website, ChrisMcVeigh.com. Here you can download instruction for a whole range of custom LEGO models that can be used as gifts or decorative items. The instructions are free to download, but you will have to source the parts yourself. If you don’t have a large LEGO collection, or you don’t want to spend time getting the needed LEGO pieces from BrickLink sellers or LEGO’s own Pick-A-Brick store, you can also buy kits which include both the instructions and the parts.
Recently Chris also released a book with many of his most popular Christmas decorations and other small sets, titled: The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book – 15 Designs to Spread Holiday Cheer. The book is hardbound with 213 pages, thick, glossy, high-quality paper, and a charming small size (7.3 x 0.8 x 7.3 inches). Each of the fifteen models is introduced with beautiful and tastefully presented photography, followed by a parts-list and step-by-step instructions with large and very clear images. Below is the official description of the book with more detail:
Every year, families deck their trees with strings of popcorn, popsicle sticks, and gingerbread—but why not use LEGO? This holiday season, LEGO fans can build lasting memories by making their own DIY ornaments with the help of The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book. This new release from No Starch Press promises to liven up the holidays with its collection of hands-on projects that the whole family can build and enjoy for years to come.
With colorful graphics and detailed instructions, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect gift for do-it-yourselfers and crafters. The 15 designs in the book include holiday classics like a wreath, snowflake, poinsettia, Christmas tree, and gingerbread house; fun stuff like a computer, arcade machine, and cheeseburger; and even simple geometric designs like a bow, barrel, and lantern. As author Chris McVeigh explains, “Whether you’re looking for a traditionally-shaped ornament or want to add something fun and quirky to your tree, there’s something for everyone in this book!”
Each chapter opens with a project overview that features the finished ornament and then walks readers through detailed, step-by-step building instructions. And because not every reader has a massive LEGO collection, the book shows alternate color options, so readers can put their own unique twist on each ornament.
According to No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock, “This book is great for anyone looking to easily add personality to their Christmas decorations. What a simple yet creative way for the whole family to have fun together while making something cool!”
The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is officially recommended for ages 8 and up, but I would say that they are more appropriate for teen and adult builders. They are fairly complex in design and could be difficult for younger children with less coordination and dexterity to put together. Plus, these are just decorations, not action sets – which is what younger kids tend to prefer. But if you get this book for an older child, teen or adult LEGO fan, I’m certain that they would enjoy it.
I would also note that the models in the book are the same as what can be found on Chris’s website. I still think it is good to have the instructions in a nicely presented book form, but I just wanted to make sure you know that’s what you are getting.
Simple models that can be made with just a few parts are a red poinsettia, a white snowflake, and a green and red Christmas wreath. I think even younger kids would enjoy these models, and would have the attention-span to put them together.
More advanced models include a holiday ornament shaped like a present, barrel-shaped, ball-shaped, bow-shaped and lantern-shaped ornaments, a frill ornament, a Christmas tree, and a gingerbread house. All of these advanced models require some specialty parts, so make sure you have the pieces before you begin building. Chris does include some alternate color variations for inspiration, or when you don’t have the exact colors. Because of the fairly complex building steps, these models are more appropriate for older kids, teens and adult builders.
Other models include an arcade machine, a computer, a camera and a burger. They can be used as fun holiday ornaments or as small gifts and decorations. They are also pretty complex, so I think they would be more enjoyable by advanced LEGO builders. Below is a video-review of the book, so you can see it in more detail:
In summary, I would say that this is a very nice book that any LEGO fan would enjoy. I think the age recommendation is set a bit lower than I would have suggested. My own recommendation would be 12 and up (except for the first three models, which could be fun for younger children as well). While the book only includes 15 different models, keep in mind that the geometric ornaments can have a virtually unlimited variation of colors and shapes. If you plan to introduce making LEGO ornaments as a yearly holiday tradition, this book will become an invaluable resource for years to come. The regular price is $19.95, but you can currently get the book 30% off on Amazon. Here is the link: THE LEGO CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS BOOK ON AMAZON
Also, it is a good idea to check Chris’ website this time of the year, as he usually adds more Christmas designs. For example, he added a new snowman and Santa decoration, as well as a couple of new geometric ornaments. With LEGO regularly releasing new parts and colors, there is always room for more!
What do you think? Have you been using Chris’ designs to build holiday ornaments? Are you planning to build any this year? Do you think you would get the book either for yourself or as a gift for someone else? Feel free to share in the comment section below! And if you have the book already, you are welcome to share your own review! 😉
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Yeah, it’s very sweet. 🙂
Looks like a nice book. Pity it just has the same models shown on the website though. Thanks for the review!
Yeah, I think this book is more suitable for those who prefer a real book rather than a PDF version of the instructions, and those who never built these models before. It makes a nice gift. 🙂
That Santa is soooo cute! I could see hanging that on my tree! Hope we have the flesh-tone pieces. ::crosses fingers::
I hope you’re going to get to Miro’s fabulous Train Station for the Winter Village too. I just completed mine and I’m beginning to set up my Winter Village.
Even my 6yo grandson was impressed by the train station. He particularly liked the tower roof, the chandelier and the antique phone in the waiting area.
We will have the train boarding from the front platform and the tram pulling up behind the station for intra-city transport. 😉 Choo- chooooooooooo!
I haven’t heard from Miro, so I guess I should contact him. He is probably busy with holiday stuff. Since you already have the set, would you like to write a review? No pressure, just thought to ask. 🙂
I’d be happy to say what I like about it but I don’t have your sophisticated appreciation of the construction details.
But DO contact him. He should send you one so you can do a proper review and let everyone know about it.
Okay, I will. Made a note for myself. Thanks for the reminder 🙂